A Fistful of Alice

by: Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper never considered his first live album, 1977's The Alice Cooper Show, to be an adequate representation of his capabilities as an entertainer, which is one of the reasons he invested so much energy in the 1997 live album Fistful of Alice. Cooper envisioned the record as a blowout, not only showcasing his stage show, but also featuring cameos from such superstars as Slash, Sammy Hagar, and Rob Zombie. While his abilities as a performer and vocalist had declined somewhat by 1997, Fistful of Alice is remarkably potent, capturing Cooper in good form. It didn't matter that his notoriously bloody stage show had faded away in the 20 years between the two live records, since the album relies on the music, not the visuals. And this time out, the music is much better -- it's tighter and harder, and Cooper's vocals are better than those on Show, where he suffered from too much substance abuse. Fans of Cooper's classic period will miss the Billion Dollar Babies band, but hardcore fans will find the album to be an unexpected delight. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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